Secretary of State John Kerry bashed the “unprecedented” letter from Republican senators warning Iranian leaders against a nuclear deal with the United States in an interview that aired on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
CBS News’ Margaret Brennan asked Kerry if he would apologize to the leaders of Iran for the letter sent by 47 Senate Republicans.
“Not on your life. I’m not going to apologize for an unconstitutional, unthought-out action by somebody who has been in the United States Senate for 60-some days. That’s just inappropriate,” Kerry responded, referencing freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who organized Senate Republicans to send the letter. “I will explain very clearly that Congress does not have the right to change an executive agreement.”
Kerry said he wasn’t sure yet whether the letter would have any impact on the nuclear negotiations with Iran, but he said the letter was meant to be destructive.
“This letter was absolutely calculated directly to interfere with these negotiations. It specifically inserts itself directly to the leader of another country, saying ‘Don’t negotiate with these guys, because we’re going to change this.’ Which, by the way, is not only contrary to Constitution with respect to the executive’s right to negotiate, but is incorrect, because they cannot change an executive agreement,” he said. “That is unprecedented.”
Despite growing criticism, Cotton said in a Sunday interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he has “no regrets at all” for his decision to send the letter.
“It’s so important we communicated this message straight to Iran,” Cotton said.
Watch Kerry’s interview video via CBS: